Customized Management Agreement

PMA Module #1: The Customized Property Management Agreement and Training Notes

The documents on this site are the result of a 25-year collaboration between national trainer Robert Locke RMP, MPM and trial attorney Monica Gilroy as Crown Management navigated its way through the legal challenges of managing rentals in Atlanta. Monica’s expertise in real estate litigation (especially landlord/tenant and fair housing disputes) uniquely equipped her to write great property management agreements (PMA) that managers have been downloading and embracing for years. Over 65 managers (in 17 states) now use these documents and benefit from the experience of Robert and Monica.

What you get in Module #1

  • A fully editable management agreement (PMA) that you will add your name to, make some dollar (and percentage) changes, and be up and running in a couple of hours. Although it starts out at 25 pages you’ll simply delete the instructor notes as you add your numbers and percentages to the document ending up with a killer PMA only six pages. View a sample
  • We add an example six page PMA, completely filled in, so you see what it should look like when you’re done.

Because of their extensive experience in the business, this customized PMA (with instructor notes) is sufficient for some veteran managers. For others we also make available Module #2; a library of training videos on the PMA to help you strengthen your understanding of how to build a profitable management agreement. We go into detail regarding most stipulations in the agreement and explain why it’s important. These videos address only owner (management agreement) issues and follow (and expands on) the customized PMA training notes in Module #1. See Module #2 below for more information.

We’ve added several testimonials on this page from other managers who have embraced these documents and found them easy to implement and get current owners to execute.

You’re not alone in this effort. Our mission is to help you customize this document to work in your model. We’ll collaborate with you to make sure it’s exactly what you need to be scalable and profitable in your market.

These documents were drafted by attorney Monica Gilroy and Robert Locke and are usable in all states. Always run legal documents by your local attorney before you use them.

PMA Module #2: Training Video Library

Robert and Monica shot over two dozen training videos to help managers grasp the essential strategies of the customized management agreement. This is an essential part of the managers training on building and managing this vital document. There are many elements of managing owners well and it’s hard to put it all in the management document (Module #1) itself. Two primary motives drive these training videos: Generating profits and protecting yourself from the natural liabilities that come with this business. Watch a sample video here

What you get in Module #2

Over two dozen studio-shot training videos (7 to 9 minutes each) covering every detail of the management agreement. This makes great training for both you and your staff so you’re not doing it all yourself. View library of video titles.

PMA Module #3: Housekeeping Documents

To keep the PMA short, easy to get the owner to sign, and easy to defend in court you must keep all operational issues out of it. By including only legal issues you can shorten the agreement to six pages and make it easy to defend. However, there are some critical operational issues you’ll want every owner to understand and embrace during the onboarding process to protect yourself and prevent future litigation. For two decades Monica called these “Housekeeping Documents”. These documents are initialed by the owner to make sure they’ve read them and embraced them yet are not attached to the PMA (as an exhibit) from a litigation perspective. The protection for you is … you don’t sign them. Only the owner does so they are NOT part of the PMA or an exhibit or addendum. Yet, if there is litigation, they carry a ton of credibility in the courtroom. The language in them doesn't need to clutter up the PMA document, yet, just above the owner's signature it says “I’ve read this and agree to embrace it while under management with XXXXXXXXXX.” Like a lead-based paint disclosure they are simply housekeeping documents and expand on the legal protections already in the PMA.

At Crown, over the last two decades, we developed our Housekeeping Documents and have them in word format in this download (View the list). Your model is obviously different from ours so your final bundle of Housekeeping Documents will be different than ours. Your experience will make you hypersensitive to issues we’ve had no experience with like show removal, energy panels and pools. You’ll add and subtract to these documents over time as your model requires. The key reason you don’t want them tied to your PMA is ‘operation issues change frequently.’ You want a PMA that won’t need changes for many years to come yet have Housekeeping Documents you can change as you get smarter and things change in the business. The message is ‘stop tweaking your PMA’ and set yourself up to change operational issues whenever you like without cluttering up the PMA with minutia.

Note: One of the benefits of using Housekeeping Documents is you can address fees and costs in them without having to clutter up the PMA. You get to spread out the fees by using this Housekeeping Documents strategy. Remember: you are not required to disclose all fees in the PMA. You are simply required to disclose them. It can be done in a Housekeeping Document because THEY acknowledge that document with their initials and therefore acknowledge the fees disclosed in that document.

What you get in Module #3

These documents were drafted by attorney Monica Gilroy and Robert Locke RMP, MPM and are usable in all states primarily because they are not legal documents. Since you don’t sign them they are simply Housekeeping Documents. Always run legal documents by your local attorney before you use them.

PMA Module #4: Ancillary Documents

While all the Housekeeping Documents are signed by every owner every time, “Ancillary Documents” are only used when necessary and appropriate. A pool document isn’t needed all the time. A hot tub disclosure, multiple owner agreement, HOA disclosure, sprinkler system or security system disclosure is only needed when it’s appropriate. If you attempt to address all these possibilities all the time your PMA becomes grosely over written and a burden to manage as changes are frequently needed. We have a list of documents we developed for the owner but you’ll add more as your model requires. This download will give you a good start.

These documents were drafted by attorney Monica Gilroy and Robert Locke RMP, MPM and are usable in all states primarily because they are not legal documents. Since you don’t sign them they are simply a Housekeeping Document. Always run legal documents by your local attorney before you use them.

PMA Module #5: Entity Documents

Owners often attempt to camouflage who the real owner is and create curtains to hide behind. To prevent themselves from being named in lawsuits they often hold title in a Limited Liability Company, land trust or family limited partnership making it hard for the public (and the property manager) to figure out how they should be receiving the money and who is making management decisions. Who signs the PMA isn’t always as simple as it looks when there is an entity involved.

What you get in Module #5

  • An affidavit for a Limited Liability Company, land trust or family limited partnership for the signature of the one claiming to have the authority to sign for the entity. Under penalty of perjury the one claiming to have the authority in the entity documents will give you details on the entity and instructions on where to send the money. View the list of Entity Documents here
  • A completed set of affidavits for each of the entities so you know what to put on each line of the affidavit.
  • Training notes and videos for each entity so you’ll complete them just right and protect yourself from wiley owners trying to trick you.

These CYA documents are critical to your survival when managing for entities. Do your due diligence, have them execute the appropriate documents and protect yourself.

These documents were drafted by attorney Monica Gilroy and Robert Locke RMP, MPM and are usable in all states primarily because they are not legal documents. Since you don’t sign them they are simply a Housekeeping Document. Always run legal documents by your local attorney before you use them.

PMA Module #6: Scope of Service Documents

Owners don’t know what you do for the monthly fees you charge. Unless you define this in some detail you’ll be constantly pressed by the owner to manage everything about the property including home warranties, HOAs, utilities, property taxes, insurance, sprinkler systems, code enforcement, solar panels, appliance warranties, deferred maintenance, rent-ready projects, be the registered agent for their entity and a whole host of other tasks. The more thorough you are during the onboarding process, the less stress you’ll have managing the property (and the owner) and the more money you’ll make. Skip this step and you’ll spend lots of time doing stuff you’re not being paid for. Do this properly and you open up lots of new opportunities for additional revenue.

What you get in Module #6

Over the years we developed five different ways to address this challenge. Ultimately we used them all to help the owner understand what we do for the monthly fee and what the costs are for handling other tasks. View the list of Scope of Service Documents here

  • Things You Can’t Turn Over to Your Property Manager

Our first step into this topic was to make a list of things the owner couldn’t pass over to the manager. There is a brief description of 15 items that the owner wants to pass over to you but during the onboarding process, we nip this idea in the bud and attempt to clarify what they need to continue to manage. You’ll add and delete the issues based on your model. It was short and simple and went a long way to solve the problem.

  • Managing the owner’s previously established 3rd party relationships

When owners come to you they have relationships they’ve already established and it’s hard (if not impossible) for you to take over. The owner, not you, needs to manage their mortgage, insurance, utilities, HOA, home/builder warranty, solar panels, termite bonds, appliance warranties and a host of other previously established relationships. You’ll add and delete to this list as your model requires.

  • Asset Manager vs. Property Manager

Many owners think you are supposed to manage the asset, not just the property and tenant. Multi-family owners are the worst to deal with on this topic. Asset management is a different category of management and owners often push managers to manage more than you’ve agreed to in the PMA so make it clear in the beginning what you manage (and don’t manage) for your monthly fee. You can add asset management tasks if you want but you should make it clear that there is a cost attached to it.

  • The Property Manager’s Job Description

This is a terrific chart we developed 20 years into the business that helps the owner (and manager) identify what the owner is responsible for and what the manager is responsible for. You get to move topics around as you like to fit your model.

  • Full blown Scope of Service

The Scope of Service details the three things you do to lease the property, manage the tenant and manage normal maintenance breakdowns. Each of these categories includes a long list of things you do for your monthly fee. You get to add and delete as you see fit. It includes lots of training notes and details as to how you’ll implement this SOS project.